Trending Alert: Honed and Leathered Finishes for Stone Counter Tops

Honed and Leathered finishes for Granite and Marble counter tops are being chosen more often than the once popular polished finish.

What is Polished?
A polished surface finish is smooth, shiny, and reflective. The full color, depth, and crystal structure is visible.


What is Honed?

A honed surface finish is a smooth surface without reflection. It varies from a matte like appearance to a very low sheen.


What is Leathered?
A leathered surface finish starts with a honed finish, with a matte like appearance to low sheen, and adds texture to the surface. Additionally, it closes the pores (compared to honing) and retains the color better than honing.




Some benefits when choosing honed or leathered finishes with marble or granite include:

  • little to no reflection
  • “soft” and “natural” look
  • marble and granite with honed or leathered finishes are good alternatives to slate or soapstone when compared to pricing and durability

History Lesson: Serge Mouille Lamp

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Serge Mouille (1922 – 1988) was a French industrial designer and goldsmith. He is best known for his light fixture designs.

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“Serge Mouille made each of his lamps by hand and never used machine technology to maximize production numbers.”

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“A Serge Mouille lamp is as much a work of art as it is a source of illumination.”

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“Serge Mouille designed his angular, insect-like lights as “a reaction to the Italian models that were beginning to invade the market in 1950,” which he criticized for being “too complicated.” His large-scale Three-Arm Floor Lamp (1952) has a kinetic, sculptural aesthetic that evokes a sense of movement in space. All of the arms can be rotated in various directions, allowing for ample, well-directed lighting for any task. Mouille designed the Three-Arm Lamp for a client whose instructions were simply, “I want a big light because I have clients in South America who have huge rooms.” All of his lighting solutions feature Mouille’s hallmark signatures as a designer: the way the arms are joined to the diffusers, the washer and six-sided screw hardware, the form of the reflectors, and the refined lines of the steel tubing. All of his products are made in France.”

Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi’s Home

The Philosophy of Serge Mouille

“Pragmatic art or the creation of an artistic representation that also has a necessary function is at the heart of what Serge Mouille and the company that carries his name have achieved over time with some of the most iconic lamps available today.  Until you need to choose one for a particular space, a lamp is often an overlooked accessory in a room.  However, walk into a room with a poorly chosen lamp and it is noticed immediately.  Or, walk into a room with just the right lamp and it goes from an accessory to part of the furniture that creates the perfect ambiance and feeling in a space.”

modern design lighting

“The lamps from Serge Moulle are certainly a furnishing and not a mere accessory.  Each lamp is simple at first glance, but as with most artistic renderings, a closer examination shows that there is a complexity that is easy to overlook.  A Serge Moulle lamp has versatility and grace whether examining metal lighting fixtures, wall sconces, or another design.  Some lamps can be adjusted to allow one part of even a small room to sit in the shadows, while that same lamp can be used, with a relatively minor and certainly simple adjustment can illuminate every nook and cranny.

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It should not be the purpose of the lighting in a room to be the focal point of attention.  A great lamp can be simplistic in design, yet that same design can have an artistic bent, and serve its own in different ways.  It is not the fault of Serge Mouille or his company that his lamps and lights are dramatic in their usefulness while being so sleek in the design that they cannot escape your guests’ attention.”

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“Serge Mouille offers modern design lighting, modern lighting, mid-century modern lamps, modern light fixtures and more.  There is a wide selection of lighting, lighting fixtures, and sconce lamps that fit every décor, every style, and every space.”

Ourso Designs Welcomes a New Team Member!

Meet our new assistant designer, Logan Wheeler Ramirez!

 

We are so pleased to have a new assistant designer, Logan Wheeler Ramirez!

Logan is a graduate from LSU Art & Design School with a Bachelor of Interior Design. While in school, Logan won several awards for her projects and rendering capabilities. Her work experiences include an internship with Commercial Design Interiors, CDI (of Baton Rouge) and working as a chalk and graphic artist at Whole Foods Market.

Her personal design aesthetic is mostly modern with historical influences mixed with a sophisticated use of raw materials.

In her down time, Logan likes to “absorb books, movies, music, food, and to engage in meeting new people and good conversation.”

Check out some of her work! 

Senior Capstone 2013: The Oaks at Sherwood Golf Course, with Restaurant, Bar, and Spa

Blevin’s Center for the Arts

ASID Student Competition 2013 – 1st place winner for CG rendering (see middle image)

Franklin, Louisiana Historic District Commission 2013 – 3rd place winner for best Adaptive Reuses practices

Department Store

ASID Student Competition 2012 – 2nd place for Retail Division

How to Arrange Furniture


Get out the tape measure

The first step in arranging a space is determining its size. Use a tape measure to get the dimensions of a room. Or, a quick tip: Measure your foot and then walk heel to toe across the room. This is an easy way to estimate the basic size. Then, check the dimensions of the hallways, stairs and door widths leading to the space. This is the eternal challenge for a homeowner, being sure the entrance and egress of the room are large enough for potential purchases.

Mix furnishings of various sizes

Every object has a height, depth and width. To add visual interest to any space, incorporate a variety of furniture with different characteristics. If you’re going for a serene, unchallenging area for rest or recovery, keep the furnishing volumes in a room similar.  But if you’re looking for an interesting space like the photo above, mix and match styles, colors, and material types.  But when doing so, be mindful of the next rule…

Use scale pieces to create unity

The size of pieces relative to one another and the size of the space is their scale. Similarly scaled pieces are more serene when used together, but a nice balance of pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere, utilizing the differing physical qualities of height, depth and width throughout a room. When furnishings are out of scale, you’ll notice that it just won’t feel comfortable or right.  The most often miss-scaled pieces of furniture are side tables and lamps.

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However, in the last few years we have been seeing a trend of playing with scale–for example: over-sized lighting like what is shown in the photo above.

Form a healthy relationship

The relationship of items to one another to form a pleasing whole is called balance. There are two forms of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Bilateral symmetry is like the human body: There are two of everything.

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Asymmetry refers to an imbalance, such as two candles of slightly different sizes next to each other. Symmetry is very restful, while asymmetry is used to add visual motion and excitement.

Use an Artist’s Perspective

Look at your space as a painter looks at a work of art. There are visual tricks that painters use to create the appearance of depth in a space. You can use these tools, too.
The first trick painters use is “triangulation.” In interior design, triangulation is the placement of two end tables on either side of a sofa with a painting above the sofa. If you can imagine this scenario, it is lower on the corners with the apex of the view just above midcenter at the top of the painting.

Create depth in artwork

The second trick painters use is the creation of depth in artwork, which is a two-dimensional medium. Paintings often have a foreground, midground, background and vanishing point. Stand at the threshold of your room. Place a chair, perhaps at an angle, in the foreground closest to you. The cocktail table will provide a mid-ground and the sofa with the wall behind it will serve as the background. A window in the scene will give you your vanishing point. Or, the vanishing point can be within a work of art placed above the sofa.

Think Form

All furniture arrangements have a certain “totality,” a “form.” Large rectangular spaces can be dealt with by dividing the “form” of the space into another form. A long, narrow living space, for instance, can be split in two by creating zones of function. Say, one half is for the sofa, or the function of conversing, and the other half is for a dining set, or the function of dining. This helps you take the bite out of large rectangular rooms by dividing them into squares according to their function. Humans tend to feel more comfortable and less formal in square furniture arrangements versus rectangular.